Just another rambling fool at WordPress.com

Coloring Outside the Lines

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I’m not a mom. And although I may have animals, I’m not their mommy either. My own mother (above, at age 3) is deceased and has been for over a decade. So while I have a wonderful mother-in-law who has in every way has been like a mother to me for 32 years, more often than not I end up feeling a bit melancholy on Mother’s Day. Not because I’m  feeling sorry for myself, but because I feel excluded. For the most part, anything that has to do with women or being a woman includes me, welcomes my camaraderie. It doesn’t really matter what my position might be; I can agree or disagree with a variety of topics that weigh on a woman’s heart and  I’m still a player on the team. Except on Mother’s day. On that one day I’m shoved aside, expected to worship women everywhere based on the virtue of their being or having been a mother.

There was a time in my life when I felt I needed to be apologetic for choosing not to procreate. To breed. To mother. Times were different then, the choice to opt out on a family was seldom done without having to dodge lots of questions. Certainly, you want to be a Mom, no? (No) Perhaps you’ll change you mind later, right? (No) Obviously there must be something wrong with your …. ahem … baby-making apparatus? (No) Perhaps you were abused as a child? (No) The truth of the matter was, I didn’t have any maternal drive. None. Nada. Zip. It wasn’t a matter of finding the right man or getting my priorities straight. I didn’t want to be a mother. I never closed my eyes and pictured myself in a cozy little house with a white picket fence, holding a cute little baby in my arms. That picture horrified me, made me break out in a sweat and want to bolt for the hills. I thought I’d get over it, was told time and time again that I would, but I never did.

So why the melancholy when Mother’s day rolls around? I dunno. I know it’s really nothing more than an overblown Hallmark Holiday designed to sell cheesy gifts and cards, boost restaurant business until the next big food holiday. I can (and do) try to honor my Mother-in-law and the memory of my own mom and applaud my sisters and the hard work they’ve done to raise their own children. But what about all the men and women who don’t get any recognition simply because they haven’t raised a child? Are they any less noteworthy? Are there any non-mother’s day cards? Sorry you’ve lost your mom holidays? Non-mother’s day celebrations? I don’t think so. Which means countless men and women are often forced to endure Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) festivities stuffing our feelings and pretending it’s a special day for those who might feel dishonored if we didn’t make an effort to fake it.

I was fortunate to have read this today. It really hit home. I’ll have to try to remember to read it again next year, hopefully earlier in the day before all the Hallmark propaganda sucks the joy out of a perfectly nice spring day.

6 responses

  1. Never had nor wanted kids either. A great description of the childless choice, by a mother no less: http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/139083/lesson_36_choosing_to_live

    May 12, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    • Glad you get it! Thanks for the link. I read the blog, but I just wasn’t feeling her. She lost me when she said (in reference to choice to remain childless) “Who. The fuck. Cares.” OK, so right out of the gate she pretends to understand our choice, but clearly she doesn’t. My point is that my opinion on celebrating Mother’s Day is: Who. The fuck. Cares. Why does motherhood require a national holiday? And if choosing to be childless is like choosing not to wear a sweater, than how effing ordinary is the choice to wear one? Exactly. So why the big yearly celebration for sweater wearers? Sorry, but she’s not getting a nod to play on my team.

      May 13, 2013 at 7:31 AM

      • I agree. I read the blog, too. I want to say to her, you know what? You can be a mommy if you want to. There’s lots of kids in foster homes, lots of babies needing a parent. IT sounds to me as if she’s missing her mom. THAT i understand…I miss mine, too, twelve years after her death. That’s life, really.

        May 14, 2013 at 9:38 PM

  2. Mother’s day sucks….

    May 13, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    • It certainly can! I think we have enough holidays with the potential to suck. Why have one more? Oops, I forgot … they stimulate the economy.

      May 13, 2013 at 7:34 AM

  3. When you bolted for the hills, I was right alongside. I knew, at the age of 11, that I never wanted children. I had this horrible vision..of me surrounded by a bunch of squalling brats, doomed to forever be a mommy and not a PERSON. It was supremely depressing and a future that was no future at all.
    I must have been six or seven when I received a ‘baby doll’ for Christmas. It was nothing to me. I didn’t touch it. I wanted a HORSE for Christmas, for birthdays, not a doll, and damn it, neither Santa nor my parents believed me.

    I stopped ‘apologizing’ for never having children a long time ago. I used to have the same excuses..oh, well, maybe someday, or, hey, I can’t find a decent man, or I can’t have them (which only elicited concerned, oh, what’s WRONG?” Only when I started saying “Sorry. I eat my cubs at birth.” do they back off…sometimes quickly, but always with that oh my god, this one’s deranged. \look. Suits me.

    Mother’s Day is merely a lucrative exercise in marketing. I used to work in a flower shop. Mother’s Day was by far the biggest money maker we had. Valentine’s Day was a distant second for sales. People use the day as an excuse, a way to forgive themselves for forgetting or ignoring their mother for the other 364 days of the year. They think taking mom for pancakes and giving her a bunch of dead flowers is a way to say, “Sorry”. If you have a mom that you love, tell her you love her any day you choose. If you have a mom you DON’T love, Mother’s Day is an excellent way of saying, here, mother, is my perfunctory and required demonstration of ‘love’ . See ya next year.”.

    Childless by choice..and loving every minute of it.

    May 13, 2013 at 2:56 PM

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